The Oleander Plant adds some Mediterranean flair to your container garden. Here are some tips and care instructions for oleander trees, pruning and propagation.
Tips For Growing Oleander
For the best flowering, plant oleanders in full sun, but in very hot climates they bloom more reliably in light shade. Oleanders tolerate a range of soil conditions, from dry sandy soils to moist clay soils. They grow best where the weather stays above freezing, although they can tolerate short periods of below-freezing temperatures. Depending on how the plants are to be used and the size of the cultivar, the ideal planting distance ranges from five to ten feet. In the right climate oleander is easy to grow and requires no special care beyond annual pruning and feeding.
Prune after flowering to stimulate new branches, control size and shape, avoid leggy growth, and encourage next year’s flower buds. Remove suckers, which can interfere with flowering, and dead branches.
The best way to propagate oleander shrubs is from cuttings. They root easily in a glass of water. The best time for propagation is from June to August. The cutting should 10-15 cm long. The cutting should grow roots within 3 to 4 weeks. Once the roots are about 2 cm long pot them up into small containers.
Oleander is very poisonous. To avoid oleander poisoning children should be watched and flowers and leaves should not be eaten! Avoid contact with the sap and wash your hands and tools after pruning oleander trees. This warning will hopefully not keep you from growing oleander. Just stick to these precautions.Wearing gloves while working with oleander may prevent allergic skin reactions. Because of its toxicity, oleander is not recommended for playgrounds or other places children play.
Oleander Pests and Diseases
Oleanders generally have no serious insect or disease problems. In humid climates aphids and scale insects may be a problem. Caterpillars can strip oleander leaves in just a few days.